(Jan 30): Bitcoin investors need to be prepared to “lose all their money,” European Central Bank governing council member Gabriel Makhlouf said, the latest warning from a central banker on the cryptocurrency.
“Personally, I’m not sure why people invest in those sorts of assets, but they see them as assets clearly,” Makhlouf, who is also governor of Ireland’s central bank, told Bloomberg TV on Friday. “Our role is to make sure that consumers are protected.”
Makhlouf’s comments echo scepticism from ECB leaders. The cryptocurrency is a “highly speculative asset,” President Christine Lagarde said this month. Bitcoin prices have more than doubled since November and topped US$40,000 earlier this month. Large movements in its value are common, with four daily swings of more than 5% in the past nine days.
On Friday, Bitcoin rallied above US$35,000, with brokers attributing the move to Elon Musk mentioning the cryptocurrency in his bio page on Twitter.
Still, Makhlouf doesn’t see “financial stability issues at the moment arising from Bitcoin itself.”
“I worry more about consumers making the right choices,” he said.